B.C. distillers—and other businesses—take an inventive turn to help out during unprecedented times

As the COVID-19 crisis deepens in Canada, distillers and others across the province are jumping in to do their part by making use of excess alcohola by-product of regular productionto create, bottle, and share in-demand hand sanitizer.

Here are just a few of the companies that are shifting gears for the greater good...

1. Ampersand Distilling Co.

AmperAmpersand DistillingFamily-owned Ampersand Distilling Co. usually fills their days using B.C.-grown wheat and natural spring water to whip up popular spirits. These days, they are using their smarts, along with hydrogen peroxide donated by Stillhead Distillery and The Community Farm Store, as well as bulk buckets donated by Home Depot, to craft bulk batches of sanitizer to distribute to first responders and community organizations in need, free of charge. Individual bottles will hopefully be available for public sale at local stores shortly.

 

2. Parallel 49

49Facebook/Parallel 49 BrewingParallel 49's East Vancouver tasting room is usually bustling, but it's been shuttered for weeks. The beer is still pumping of course, and being distributed as usual. Along with it now, hand sanitizer has been added to the list of deliverables, thanks to the brewery's abundance of ethyl alcohol. Currently, it's being donated to charities and businesses in need.

 

3. Labatt Breweries

LabattTwitter/Labatt BreweriesLong providing Canadians with the suds they desire, Labatt Breweries is now offering up assistance that's much needed. At five locations across the country, they are switching up production lines to focus on hand sanitizer, which will be donated not just to Food Banks Canada, but also to front line workers and restaurant staff remaining at work to help feed us all.

 

4. Odd Society Spirits

OddFacebook/Odd Society SpiritsVancouver's Odd Society Spirits has been heralded for its unique botanical blends, and they are extending that to their new charitable endeavour during these troubling times. The small-batch East Van favourite is bottling a concoction that combines ethanol with aloe vera and other ingredients. The result will donated to charities and other organizations fighting for the public's health.

 

5. Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery

OKFacebook/Okanagan SpiritsKelowna's Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery has been busy doing what they can (and more!) to help, but they even found time to name their offering. The "Flatten the Curve" sanitizer they are whipping up was originally bottled for use by long-term care homes, shelters and front-line workers, but they hope soon to have it available to the public as well. (First, though, they are in need of spray bottles and spray tops. To help, connect with them on Facebook now.)

 

6. Monashee Spirits Craft Distillery

MonFacebook/Monashee SpiritsIn Revelstoke, Monashee Spirits Craft Distillery has been using their byproduct to create hand sanitizer since mid-March, distributing to those who are housebound. The result of the efforts, World Health Rub, is available to the public during select times outside their usual haunt on Mackenzie Avenue by donation. And, remember, it's bring-your-own-container. Mason jars work well.

 

7. Victoria Distillers

VictoriaFacebook/Victoria DistillersOn the Island, a partnership between Victoria Distillers and Nezza Naturals, an organic cosmetics maker, is resulting in much needed aid. The distillery delivers alcohol to Nezza, which then adds essential oils and more, to create a 70 percent alcohol-by-volume mixture. Their fist batch was delivered to staff at both Vancouver General Hospital and Royal Jubilee Hospital.

 

8. Sons of Vancouver Distillery

Sons smallFacebook/Sons of VancouverPrimarily known for vodka and other liquors, the North Shore's Sons of Vancouver is now adding health-care helpers to their resumé. Donating hand sanitizer to care homes in North Vancouverimpacted more by the outbreak than any other community in the province to datewas just the start. The company is now giving out bottles of the mixture, and selling their acclaimed usuals of course, during select hours.

 

9. Dubh Glas Distillery

DubhFacebook/The Dubh Glas DistilleryCalling it a "community product," Dubh Glas Distillery is offering free product to first responders who visit their Oliver location. Ingredients donated by other local businesses have helped them whip up a much-needed defence for those working the front lines.

10. AG Hair

AGIt's not just distillers and breweries answering the call. Vancouver-based AG Hair is also taking swift action. The hair product leader has pivoted all manufacturing processes at its local headquarters to produce hand sanitizing gels and sprays. The resulting offering will aid Vancouver Coastal Health facilities and more.

11. Riversol

RiversolRiversolAnother helpful bonus from a local favourite... Vancouver's Riversol—long acclaimed for anti-aging cosmetics—is now taking requests from community organizations in need. They have created an alcohol-based hand spray, and expect a gel version to be available within the next month. While they will provide product to organizations free of charge, they are also making the spray available to consumers for $5 per bottle on their website here, plus offering a full-sized bottle with every order placed for their product line online. The program is not-for-profit, with any proceeds simply offsetting costs.